Connect with us

Tech News

Uber plans to take ride-sharing to the sky in 2020

(TECH NEWS) Uber has plans for their flying cars to be ready and operational in one Texas city by 2020.

Published

on

uber flying car

Up and over, please

Every time I’m stuck in traffic, I wish for some Chitty Chitty Bang Bang magic so my car can fly over everyone else.

bar
My dreams may come true sooner than I thought.

Just like the Jetsons

Uber and the City of Dallas, Texas released a joint statement saying Dallas will be the first American city to test out flying cars. Dubbed VTOLs (vertical take-off and landing), these aircraft cars are part of Uber’s larger 6-year “Uber Elevate” plan to roll out small use-on-demand aircrafts.

They aim to get these on the road—err, in the air—by 2020.

The other location chosen for the project launch is Dubai, city of innovation and human rights abuse. So why Dallas, out of everywhere else in the world? Well, as Uber Chief Product Officer Jeff Holder noted, Dallas is city with a “rich history of aviation,” as well as a high number of pilots in the area.

Plus, rapid population growth is making people desperate for any traffic solution.

Mark Moore, longtime NASA engineer who’s serving as the Engineering Director of Aviation for Uber Elevate, says they’re constructing “vertiports,” which will be activity centers similar to the American Airlines Center.

Ross Perot Jr.’s development company, Hillport, has been contracted to construct five proposed vertiports in Dallas so far. VTOL testing is planned to commence in 2020, which isn’t that far off. I’m excited, but skeptical.

Google sized hurdle

For one, the San Francisco-based ride-sharing company faces plenty of competition from other startups in the Silicon Valley though. Namely, Google, who’s rumored to have a flying car project in the works as well. Right now Uber and Google are not on very good terms.

And by that, I mean Uber is in the midst of a trade-secret lawsuit with Google.

Allegedly, when Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski left Google’s self-driving car project, Waymo, he took 14,000 pages of documents with him. The lawsuit alleges he then used confidential information from Waymo to establish Otto, an Uber-acquired autonomous truck start-up.

Although none of the records were found on Uber servers, Levandowski has plead the Fifth, and none of his personal devices have been searched. The federal lawsuit is ongoing, and will go before a court in October. Google is hoping for a preliminary injunction, which would halt Uber’s progress on their project until the case is resolved.

Through hell or high water, or lawsuit

The lawsuit, in addition to Uber’s vast sea of other troubles, doesn’t seem to be headed in a good direction for the company. I have no doubt they’ll proceed with the flying car project, though.

Whether they’ll do this through their proposed legal means via Uber Elevate or end up going rouge remains to be seen.

#FlyingCars

Lindsay is an editor for The American Genius with a Communication Studies degree and English minor from Southwestern University. Lindsay is interested in social interactions across and through various media, particularly television, and will gladly hyper-analyze cartoons and comics with anyone, cats included.

Tech News

Career consultants help job seekers beat AI robot interviews

(TECH NEWS) With the growth of artificial intelligence conducting the job screening, consultants in South Korea have come up with an innovative response.

Published

on

job screening by robot

When it comes to resume screenings, women and people of color are regularly passed over, even if they have the exact same resume as a man. In order to give everyone a fair try, we need a system that’s less biased. With the cool, calculating depictions of artificial intelligence in modern media, it’s tempting to say that AI could help us solve our resume screening woes. After all, nothing says unbiased like a machine…right?

Wrong.

I mean, if you need an example of what can go wrong with AI, look no further than Microsoft’s Tay, which went from making banal conversation to spouting racist and misogynistic nonsense in less than 24 hours. Not exactly the ideal.

Sure, Tay was learning from Twitter, which is a hotbed of cruelty and conflict, but the thing is, professional software isn’t always much better. Google’s software has been caught offering biased translations (assuming, for example, if you wrote “engineer” you were referring to a man) and Amazon has been called out for using job screening software that was biased against women.

And that’s just part of what could go wrong with AI scanning your resume. After all, even if gender and race are accounted for (which, again, all bets are off), you’d better bet there are other things – like specific phrases – that these machines are on the lookout for.

So, how do you stand out when it’s a machine, not a human, judging your work? Consultants in South Korea have a solution: teach people how to work around the bots. This includes anything from resume work to learning what facial expressions are ideal for filmed interviews.

It helps that many companies use the same software to do screening. Instead of trying to prepare to impress a wide variety of humans, if someone knew the right tricks for handling an AI system, they could potentially put in much less work. For example, maybe one human interviewer likes big smiles, while the other is put off by them. The AI system, on the other hand, won’t waver from company to company.

Granted, this solution isn’t foolproof either. Not every business uses the same program to scan applicants, for instance. Plus, this tech is still in its relative infancy – a program could easily be in flux as requirements are tweaked. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll actually have application software that can more accurately serve as a judge of applicant quality.

In the meantime, there’s always AI interview classes.

Continue Reading

Tech News

Google chrome: The anti-cookie monster in 2022

(TECH NEWS) If you are tired of third party cookies trying to grab every bit of data about you, google has heard and responded with their new updates.

Published

on

3rd party cookies

Google has announced the end of third-party tracking cookies on its Chrome browser within the next two years in an effort to grant users better means of security and privacy. With third-party cookies having been relied upon by advertising and social media networks, this move will undoubtedly have ramifications on the digital ad sector.

Google’s announcement was made in a blog post by Chrome engineering director, Justin Schuh. This follows Google’s Privacy Sandbox launch back in August, an initiative meant to brainstorm ideas concerning behavioral advertising online without using third-party cookies.

Chrome is currently the most popular browser, comprising of 64% of the global browser market. Additionally, Google has staked out its role as the world’s largest online ad company with countless partners and intermediaries. This change and any others made by Google will affect this army of partnerships.

This comes in the wake of rising popularity for anti-tracking features on web browsers across the board. Safari and Firefox have both launched updates (Intelligent Tracking Prevention for Safari and the Enhanced Tracking Prevention for Firefox) with Microsoft having recently released the new Edge browser which automatically utilizes tracking prevention. These changes have rocked share prices for ad tech companies since last year.

The two-year grace period before Chrome goes cookie-less has given the ad and media industries time to absorb the shock and develop plans of action. The transition has soften the blow, demonstrating Google’s willingness to keep positive working relations with ad partnerships. Although users can look forward to better privacy protection and choice over how their data is used, Google has made it clear it’s trying to keep balance in the web ecosystems which will likely mean compromises for everyone involved.

Chrome’s SameSite cookie update will launch in February, requiring publishers and ad tech vendors to label third-party cookies that can be used elsewhere on the web.

Continue Reading

Tech News

Computer vision helps AI create a recipe from just a photo

(TECH NEWS) It’s so hard to find the right recipe for that beautiful meal you saw on tv or online. Well computer vision helps AI recreate it from a picture!

Published

on

computer vision recreates recipe

Ever seen at a photo of a delicious looking meal on Instagram and wondered how the heck to make that? Now there’s an AI for that, kind of.

Facebook’s AI research lab has been developing a system that can analyze a photo of food and then create a recipe. So, is Facebook trying to take on all the food bloggers of the world now too?

Well, not exactly, the AI is part of an ongoing effort to teach AI how to see and then understand the visual world. Food is just a fun and challenging training exercise. They have been referring to it as “inverse cooking.”

According to Facebook, “The “inverse cooking” system uses computer vision, technology that extracts information from digital images and videos to give computers a high level of understanding of the visual world,”

The concept of computer vision isn’t new. Computer vision is the guiding force behind mobile apps that can identify something just by snapping a picture. If you’ve ever taken a photo of your credit card on an app instead of typing out all the numbers, then you’ve seen computer vision in action.

Facebook researchers insist that this is no ordinary computer vision because their system uses two networks to arrive at the solution, therefore increasing accuracy. According to Facebook research scientist Michal Drozdzal, the system works by dividing the problem into two parts. A neutral network works to identify ingredients that are visible in the image, while the second network pulls a recipe from a kind of database.

These two networks have been the key to researcher’s success with more complicated dishes where you can’t necessarily see every ingredient. Of course, the tech team hasn’t stepped foot in the kitchen yet, so the jury is still out.

This sounds neat and all, but why should you care if the computer is learning how to cook?

Research projects like this one carry AI technology a long way. As the AI gets smarter and expands its limits, researchers are able to conceptualize new ways to put the technology to use in our everyday lives. For now, AI like this is saving you the trouble of typing out your entire credit card number, but someday it could analyze images on a much grander scale.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Great Partners

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!